I don’t consider myself to be an artistic person. In fact, I don’t know of anyone who would refer to me as artistic either. But there are times when I know how something should look. In marketing Live Events for 10 years, there were plenty of times when I knew our promotional stuff needed a drastic change — that what we were putting out just wasn’t eye-catching enough.
Another one of those situations was when I was building my house. There are a few spectacular views from my property. One of those is looking over my pond with a view of a valley floor and some houses. Another is looking at a really old and beautiful barn with a hillside as a back drop. When it was time to lay out the position of the house, I immediately knew it needed to face the barn.
Once I stated that, everybody told me I was wrong. Our builder, who is a great guy and built an amazing house, said it needed to face the pond. We could put a fountain in it, and it would be beautiful. I said barn. A few weeks later, our draftsman said it needed to face the pond. I said we would lose our backyard facing the pond due to the tree line…and it needs to face the barn.
A month later the architectural review board for the sub-division said it needed to face the pond. Even my wife was like, “A fountain would be nice. Maybe it should face the pond.” At this point I called everyone and told them to meet me out at the property. I wanted all parties there at the same time to see what I was seeing.
With everyone on the property, in the rain and lightning, I asked them to mark off what the house would look like in front of the pond. They took their handy-dandy rolling yard stick thingy and laid out all four corners. At this point I looked at the builder and didn’t say a word. He looked back at me and said, “Chris is right! It needs to face the barn.” He then walked over to me and said, “You’re in the wrong business.”
Now, have I always been right with every decision I’ve made like this? Yes! OK, of course not. Not even close. But there are moments, when everything inside of you is telling you that you are right. Those are the moments you need to stick to your guns. Even if you have to bring everyone together at the same time to see what it is that you see. From that day forward, I can’t tell you the number of times people have commented on how the view from the house it just amazing.
Question: What barn-facing moments have you had in your life?
7 thoughts on “Sticking to your guns!”
Incredible post! Sometimes we all too often give into peer pressure and these people who are supposed to be experts above what we are and don’t listen to the instinct that is strong, the voice that is telling us where to go and how to be and what to do…sticking to your guns takes guts. It sometimes takes nerve. But when you deep down listen to that voice, it also is a calming feeling that makes you able to represent your points in a manner that in the end, the sides see your view and say “You were right”. Great graphic story to bring “stick to your guns” to a picture that none of us will forget! May I continue to stick to my guns!
Great illustration, and fun to read. I was rooting for you throughout! You just had to show them what you were seeing because they were only seeing it on paper, in theory and from a “normal” viewpoint – everyone picks water as their first choice for a view, right?
In 1996 I started a mural project in the town where my art studio was. Most people were behind me, but a few friends of good taste and normally sound advice said, “No, it won’t work”. I stuck to my guns, and now Exeter, California is a great little mural city! It was the people on my team that made it happen, but I never never gave up despite zillions of obstacles.
Wow! That must have been tough! Do you have those on your site?
Thanks for asking – I love this subject! The story and and some photos were posted on the blog on March 4, 2009. It was an explanation amidst a long series of posts about painting my first mural in Exeter, a 52 day project! Here is the link: http://www.cabinart.net/2009/03/page/3/
The year we started the project is the lowest earning of my entire art career; it was like having a second job minus a second paycheck. Now that it is history, I know it was completely worth the sacrifices (except missing my cousin’s wedding still bites a little.)
Wow! What a project. I’m really impressed!!
When you know it in your heart that it is “right” – then you nailed it, Chris – stick to your guns! When I started another branch of my mortgage operation in another parish (county) – a town where we were not known or recognized – I felt it was the right thing to do. Others said NO – too far, too much trouble, will never work. I ignored them. I felt in my heart it was where I needed to go.
Today that branch is my most productive and profitable branch – I stuck to my guns!